Date of Award

Fall 2022

Document Type

Consultancy Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

Elizabeth Jones


The COVID-19 pandemic stirred up trends in the higher education industry that impacted many student affairs employees to the point that many had chosen to retire early or transition to another type of industry for employment. This exodus of employees turned into what is now called the Great Resignation. Organizations benefit from employees having pride in what they do, but what happens when they start to feel undervalued or disposable? Employee engagement is a substantial factor that affects workplace retention. Many student affairs employees have either changed their career paths or retired early in the past few years due to the excessive use of “other duties as assigned" to balance employee gaps within various departments or unclear practices brought on by the pandemic. Having those shared experiences of seeing coworkers reluctant to return to work or change labor markets altogether awakened dialogues about the importance of employees' physiological, mental, spiritual, and financial health. This project seeks to understand how higher education leaders can intentionally utilize employee engagement principles and strategies within the student affairs division in higher education. The goal is to analyze employee engagement within student affairs and determine what theories, techniques, and resources are necessary to maintain a caring culture as an equitable practice that will increase employee engagement and satisfaction. The research for this review topic is based on the Great Resignation and intentional workplace principles that can positively impact employee engagement within student affairs.

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Education Commons